California dogs can now dine out with their owners. (photos by Megan McCrea)

First, they started wearing clothes. Then, they began spending their days at day care—or the spa. And now, as of January 1, 2015, the dogs of California can brunch.

Last Tuesday, over a dozen dogs (and their loyal human companions) descended upon a Milk-Bone-sponsored brunch bash in San Francisco to enjoy bottomless biscuits, soak in some sunshine, and fete their newfound freedom.

It all came to pass last summer in Sacramento, when AB 1965 sailed through the statehouse and was signed into law by our dog-loving governor, Jerry Brown. (We’re sure his Corgi, Sutter, approves.)

Unlike the previous law on the matter, the bill recognizes the distinction between outdoor and indoor dining, granting California restaurants the right to allow dogs in al fresco eating areas, at their discretion.

The dogs of California—and their human companions—couldn’t be happier.

"I’m looking forward to spending more time outside with Lola,” said Marissa Gomes, the Toy Fox Terrier’s human.

Marissa and Lola


“My puppy just got all her shots, so now we’re finally leaving the house. I can’t wait to bring her to all my favorite places,” Dora Yu, Juno’s human, added.

Want to take your canine out for coffee this Restaurant Week?

Find information on dog-friendly restaurants at Bring Fido, Dog Friendly, and Milk-Bone. (Yelp and Four Square also allow you to search for dog-friendly dining establishments.)

First time dining out with Fido? Here are a few helpful hints from the veterans:

  • Take your dog for a nice long walk before you go. That way, she’ll be less antsy and more likely to relax under your table.
  • Feed your dog a meal before you go out to eat together. This will minimize brunch-time begging.
  • Spend time socializing your dog with other dogs and humans (at the dog park, for instance). That way, your dog will feel comfortable in the—at times chaotic—restaurant environment.
  • Come prepared with a water bowl, treats…and doggie bags. Even though you’ve fed and walked your dog before the meal, it’s good to be ready for the unexpected. Just in case.
  • Expect that you’ll need to keep your dog on-leash during the meal.
Enjoy your meal!

Lucy and Mike enjoy quality time together


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